OK. You know, my response to jtr actually suffers from a lack of imagination! LOL! I, like jtr, tend to be very intellectual, very deliberate, about my life--too much so, really--so it's my natural tendency to see things from that perspective.
Let's imagine the person who gets her hair dyed red just for the fun of it, for no "deep" reason. Or who gets a tattoo just for the fun of it, with a design that tickles her fancy at the moment, chosen on a whim.
Ah yes, I hear the deep stentorian voice of conservative reason: that to get such a permanent thing as a tattoo on a whim is perverse, especially if it isn't something deeply meaningful. And to that voice, I say "ah stuff a sock in it--you aren't the only citizen in this country." I mean, seriously, so someone gets a tattoo for fun? So what? It might well tell you that that person is impulsive and not much concerned with long term consequences. What's so wrong with that? Why do we have to judge it categorically? Why do we have to come down for or against in this way, when the reasons behind the act could be so various and different?
I say that we don't. I say there's nothing categorically wrong with wanting to look pretty or attractive or distinctive. In some people, in some particular instances, I find this to be distasteful and off-putting. But in others, I find it to be charming and pleasing.
So, once more I say that to insist, as jtr does, that we must all avoid outer expression, or be crass, is in itself to make a crass judgment. Is it so hard to be a bit more discerning than that? A bit more broad minded than that?